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Life Goes to the Movies-TCM Programmer


lzcutter
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TCM Programmer,

 

Any chance that you guys could get the rights to this wonderful documentary made by Jack Haley, Jr and Richard Schickel. It was produced in the early 1970s and has some amazing film clips in it. A great documentary about movies and their power.

 

Haven't seen it since it first aired (I was a teenager then) and would love to see it again.

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I am 100% in agreement here. I have looked in vain for this on video for too long. It was absolutely terrific and it had three hosts: Henry Fonda, Shirley MacLaine, and I think Liza Minnelli, dividing the eras. TCM, please do find it and air it. I beleieve I heard UCLA has it in their archives and I would assume Time-Life would still own the rights.

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The documentary was titled "Life Goes to the Movies" (1976) and was produced by Jack Haley Jr.

A look at the history of film from 1936-1972, with a special emphasis on the social impact of the medium and the way it both reflected and influenced American life.

A lost gem.

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The Academy also has a copy of it at their Pickford Center in Hollywood if that helps.

 

Though he may not be listed as a producer, I remember Richard Schickel being involved with the making of this gem. (But then I thought it was aired around 1974 so I could be off on Schickel as well).

 

Either way, it deserves another screening.

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DPM,

 

I remember it being better. "Life Goes to the Movies" is one of the documentaries, like "Men Who Made the Movies" and "Hollywood" that have stayed with me all these years.

 

Perhaps it was that it talked about the social impact of films and most docs back then didn't. Combined with That's Entertainment it set Jack Haley, Jr up as the go to guy for retrospective pieces on Hollywood for a couple of years.

 

The imagery of "LGTTM" has stayed with me for thirty years.

 

It may not have the power that my memory gives it but I would love the opportunity to see if it has aged as well as I hope it has.

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This puts me in mind of a television series I saw long ago about the Hollywood movie industry. It was narrated by James Mason, and it dealt with all aspects of movie making. I still remember things I learned from it. Anyone remember the name? Was it called simply "Hollywood?" That would be worth seeing again.

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This puts me in mind of a television series I saw long ago about the Hollywood movie industry. It was narrated by James Mason, and it dealt with all aspects of movie making. I still remember things I learned from it. Anyone remember the name? Was it called simply "Hollywood?">>

 

That's Kevin Brownlow's wonderful "Hollywood- An Appreciation of American Silent Film". It's a 13 episode documentary on the days of silent filmmaking in Hollywood. Brownlow and company shot interview footage with the men and women in front of and behind the camera, all talking about working in the movies. It's narrated by James Mason. It's a wonderful series. It was originally released in the late 1970s or in 1980.

 

TCM ran it back in the late 1990s. It's coming to DVD was tied up for a long time by rights issues but those seem to have been worked out finally.

 

It is being released overseas on DVD but not here in the states yet. It was produced by Thames Television which was bought a few years back by Time Warner.

 

Perhaps, with the right issues worked out, we might see it again on TCM?

I will hold a good thought and keep my fingers crossed for both "LGTTM" and "Hollywood" coming to TCM.

 

Message was edited by:

lzcutter for bad grammer

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When I read the previous postings I was already thinking of both of the "That's Entertainments",Is "Life goes to the Movies" comparable with them? If so It's a must see for me. >>

 

At least as comparable, perhaps better. The first That's Entertainment has aged very well, I hope "LGTTM" (which has been unsee, perhaps since its first air date), has aged as well.

 

Both were produced by Jack Haley, Jr so I tend think that "LGTTM" has aged as well as "Entertainment".

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Life Goes to the Movies was different in the sense that 1. it did not focus on one studio, and 2. the clips were fast-paced. And it was also different in that it was not like the AFI specials in that it didn't stop to hear the thoughts of a number of celebrities reactions to one film, nor did it present anything as the best of the best.

 

As I recall, the special covered the history of movies that fell within the years that Life Magazine was being published. Henry Fonda covered up to and including the end of WWII. Shirley MacLaine covered post-WWII (including a great segment on film noir). And Liza Minnelli covered the change in society in the Sixties and Seventies.

 

I also seem to remember that while it was doing its individual topics, it did not identify film clips by titles at the bottom as so many specials do. There was no time for that, just do the brief clip, then the next, etc, bam, bam, bam, as it produced a greater overall showing of the subject the host/narrator was talking about. The clips were so seamlessly edited, they just gave you quick, great bits that made you hungry to see lots of movies. The hosts' narration of the subject as the clips played were all that you needed. (Part of the fun since then has been to see a movie and discover the clip was from that.) And an occasional song of the era would be used to set a mood with the clips, again sometimes showing the sociological elements at work on the movies. I recall the lyrics "To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn..." being used to underscore the change in the youth of the country during the Sixties, and "Don't Fence Me In" as a lead-in to the post-WW II era. And I may be wrong but I think there were also brief photos, and possibly clips, of real-life events to set the tone. Life goes to the movies, indeed.

 

It was a terrific documentary and one that has stayed with me since I first saw it, and like Lynn stated it has never been aired since.

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